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7 Key Areas for a Successful Employee Onboarding Program

Written by Rachael Jones | Oct 26, 2017 2:56:17 PM

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Once your company has attracted and hired top talent for your team, the most important part of the hiring process begins  employee onboarding.

Onboarding is the process of introducing a new employee to the company, culture and their role, helping him or her adjust to the social and performance aspects of the job to quickly become a productive, contributing team member. A strong employee onboarding program is essential for engaging and retaining new hires. Here are 7 key areas to include in your program when onboarding new employees.

1. Fundamental policies and procedures

This is a basic requirement for all employees, and covers anything from payroll to benefits, holidays, expenses, cyber security training, interactions with other employees and more.

2. Understanding the company’s mission and culture

Today, many employees at all ages and stages in their careers, not just millennials, want to be part of a company that is making a difference in the world. 

Tell new employees the story of the company and brand – why the business was started, the needs it addresses, how it has evolved over time to meet the changing needs of customers. Explain to new employees how their roles fit into and support the company mission.

The social aspects of a job and company are also important to making employees feel welcome and part of the team. Be sure employees understand the level of formality in the work environment, dress code and behavior expectations. 

3. Meeting with department leaders

Before a new hire arrives on their first day, they should receive a schedule of meetings with the leaders of each department of the company. These discussions will help them understand the part each plays in fulfilling the company mission, and allows the employee to prepare questions beforehand to make the most of each meeting.

4. Job shadowing

Once employees have met the department leaders, a next step is to have them work with an employee in the various departments to learn more about how they contribute to the bigger picture. The job shadowing can be a day, a week or more, depending upon the new employee’s role and how they will be interacting with a particular department in their daily job.

No matter what the role, one area that can provide key insights is customer service. Having the opportunity to hear first-hand from customers is one of the fastest ways a new employee can understand the opportunities and challenges of the company, and how they can contribute to improvements.

5. Understanding the role, objectives and job performance expectations

This is an opportunity to reaffirm how the employee’s position fits into the overall mission and vision of the company, and demonstrates how they can make a difference. Consider setting one month, three month and six month performance objectives so the person knows what is expected. Schedule meetings to discuss progress at each milestone to set up the employee for success.

6. Personal training plan with a schedule/timelines for completion

No matter how experienced an employee is, when starting a new job training is a must. This can take many forms  learning the technology they will be using in their job, product/service demonstrations, even soft skills. If your company has a learning management system (LMS) you can set up a training plan for the employee within the tool which includes the courses they need to complete and deadlines.

7. Mentoring

Setting up a mentoring relationship with a more experienced employee can help the new hire integrate into their role more quickly. This provides them with a contact they can go to with questions or concerns, and reinforce information about the company and culture. Read more about some modern mentoring approaches and the benefits of incorporating them into your onboarding process.

For more information on employee onboarding, check out these helpful resources: 

Employee Onboarding Handbook

Successful onboarding starts even before your new hire's first day. This free handbook will take you through key areas leading up to day one, to the completion of month one and beyond.

Employee Onboarding Checklist

Discover the important topics to include in your onboarding program that will get new employees engaged with your company, improving retention and reducing turnover rates.